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Submitted: 03-21-2013 by trvlrerik
For starters I am 5'11" 190lbs, I like a lower volume snug fit boat, the Alchemy S is that. I moved the seat back 1 1/2" and removed the adjustable foot pegs and replaced them with a foam/aluminum bulk head much like a WW boat. The seat and back band are very comfortable and adjustable. Once modified I find the boat to be super comfortable.
I have had the boat out in flat water streams and limited light surf and rock gardening (entry level stuff only) The primary stability is very high making it a good beginner kayak. Secondary stability is not bad, but to me, I could not reliably feel the "point of no return" and found myself rolling when aggressive edging. I think moving the seat back hurt the boats rolling behavior as I can not lay back flat on the deck, but it seems to be easy to snap the boat back under you.
In my opinion, this is a good general use kayak for a beginner that wants a boat they can grow with, learning new skills. It also seems to have the ability to turn and handle very well making it a good surf boat (I am still learning this skill).
The Alchemy is well built, has dry hatches, and is fairly light for a poly boat.
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